Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Celebrate Being Mom Daily

Fifteen years ago, I woke up Mother’s Day morning, satup in bed, and lost everything I had ate the night before.  As I made way to the bathroom to clean myself up I could barely stand up, scared to
death of what was going on, I was rushed to the emergency room.  At five months pregnant, I was well past morning sickness, I had no fever, and there was no explanation for continuous vomiting.  The ER staff begin a routine assessment; check my heartrate, blood pressure, and temperature.  All was good, so they moved on to check baby.  The next thing I heard was “I can’t find baby’s heartbeat” another nurse raced to the room, they pressed, prodded, and turned me - nothing, no heartbeat.  My heart sank, I laid there thinking that my first ever Mother’s Day would also be my last Mother’s Day.   Several hours later and after an excruciating “backwards” ultrasound as they called it, they found baby’s heartbeat and she was healthy and hiding from them.  That day when I heard the “whoosh whoosh” of her heartbeat come over the ultrasound speaker, I vowed I will always celebrate being a Mother, even on the worst days.  
Being Mom is a tough job, no lie, I have shed a many of tears over my now fourteen and ten-year-old babies. I have also busted out thousands of laughs and beamed full of love when they remind me of my duty here on Earth. 
As Mom, I celebrate big thing like making the Volleyball Team, Color Guard Squad, Honor Choir, and the BUG Club.  Then I celebrate the important things like making it to work on time fully dressed in matching shoes (don’t judge me), remembering to pay my kids school lunch account after the 3rd reminder call, and not forgetting pajama day or not getting pajama day mixed up and sending my kid to school the wrong day of the week in pajamas (again don’t judge me).  
This week as we approach that one day of the year that the nation celebrates the importance of Moms – instead of just celebrating that one day a year, remember to celebrate being Mom daily and the little and big hills that you climb, as those are the important days in life.  
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s no matter what your Mom life is like!

 (this editorial was originally featured in The Banner Press, please support our local paper) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Stop, Think, Don’t Trash My Community

As I took a stroll through Twin City Park this past Saturday afternoon with my young son I was greeted with some creative sidewalk chalk art; just not the kind of art I wanted my child to see.  Someone had kindly drawn a version of a male body part and wrote some not so nice words on the side of the public restroom in the city park – ya know the place where families go to play.

Daily as a community leader I hear, there is nothing to do in this community, why can’t we have more nice things…., you all need to clean this place up!  Yes, we do!  However, so do you! And you need to quit destroying what we do have! 

Ya see, our community really is a beautiful community full of beautiful people, beautiful sights, and oh do have some people that know to cook!  And then…. we have the not so nice creative artist that like to destruct our community, leave their ugly mark on the side of public places, and then complain about “we got nothing nice here”. 

So, to those artists that want to destruct instead of construct, I challenge you to meet me in the park and do some real art – the kind of art that good for everyone.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Marble Hill - love it or leave it

 (this editorial was originally featured in The Banner Press, please support our local paper) 

In recent days there has been a bit of smack talking on the ol' Facebook about the community of
Marble Hill.  Sigh.  In fact, the smack talk was downright disgusting; pointing out names, businesses, and community leaders with accusations that unprovable and distasteful.  

For once, my name did not make that list (I think), but I know some that did.  Either way, the slander and rude remarks were uncalled for and disrespectful not only to the ones mentioned but to our community. 

We are a small town, ya know the place that everyone knows everyone, and knows everyone’s business.  Rumors often spread quickly - unless it is good news, then ya can’t even get a few Facebook likes.  

As I stood waiting for one of my kids at one of their events, someone asked “did you see that page, do you know who did it” and I replied “someone who needs to move away from Marble Hill” - yep I said it!  If you hate our town so much that you can’t see all the good, you need to move away!  

Over the past year, there has been a real community togetherness, people working with people for the greater good.  Granted we may not be moving thousands of people to our town or opening giant businesses, but we are chipping away one brick at a time to a new tomorrow.  

To the people that put in the amount of effort to create profiles, post on websites, and begin long forums regarding how awful our town is, I challenge you to invest your time, talent, and effort to a new tomorrow. 

There are dozens of small groups, organizations, churches, 4 area schools, and your next door neighbor that are begging you for help.  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Becoming a Minimalist in a Cluttered World

I crave clean spaces!  I enjoy the uncluttered areas of my home; give me a large empty room with no junk and I feel like I am on top of the world. 

The problem is my family is the opposite; I have diagnosed them as hoarders of junk.  If you walk into my daughter's room right now it looks like Walmart threw-up in there!  Junk Junk Junk!  Everywhere!  No doubt there is loads of unfolded laundry mounding in the corner.

Friday night I made the decision I was going to get rid of my living room furniture!  I was tired of cleaning around the massive, overstuffed, uneasy to clean, awkwardly shaped beast, known as my couch and chair.

When I would look at these pieces of furniture, I would envision the granola bar wrappers, the dirty socks, and the candy wrappers that had been stuffed down in the crevices of the couch.....this made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Hiding clutter inside of clutter!

Moments after I posted on Facebook begging for someone to take this nuisance off my hands, I got the first text, let me see your new furniture.  Umm...I haven't bought any furniture yet!

Ya see I am on a mission to find the exactly perfect piece of furniture!   In my mind, I have this perfect idea.  The furniture will be clean, harsh, with straight lines.  It will be resistant to hiding dirty socks, empty wrappers, and TV remotes.  It will sturdy and bounce resistant. It will match everything I put in my living room at all times.

So since my list is strict and hard to find, to the great embarrassment of my kids, I have moved our patio furniture inside to act as my minimalist furniture until I find or create that perfect piece.

Their response to our makeshift furniture.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Speak Truth, Life, and Love - the Clothes Dryer

This morning I was listening to the local radio station and they were discussing their "word of the year" - over the past year I have had this urge to speak, but have not been certain where it was coming from.  As I drove past the many open fields and the glorious sunrise - I knew it was God talking to me saying you need to SPEAK and speak about Truth, Life, and Love.

Oh boy here comes the Suzie Sunshine kind of post - well if you know me or have followed me for a minute, you know Suzie Sunshine RARELY comes out.  Truthfully, I have been HIDING my true personality for probably a greater portion of the past year - yup, I have lived fear "what will they think, whose feelings will I hurt"  Smhhhhh  forget that!  I really think that is what God has been telling me - you need to SPEAK from your true identity - you know the one that does not hold back and does not live in fear.

With that said, here is a story of Life and our Clothes Dryer. 

In the picture below you will notice that the front of our clothes dryer says in big bold letter "you must press START for clothes to get dry" for some this is common sense, but in our house it is a real struggle.   

Our clothes dyer only has to 2 settings, not actually, but these are the only settings that seem to work - is the dryer only runs nonstop with the SAME load of laundry in it over and over for like 8 to 10 hours straight or it sits with wet laundry in it for 8 to 10 hours or better without ever being started.

The nonstop with SAME load of laundry in it works like this - if the dryer is running the clothes are still wet, EVEN if we have started the same load of laundry over 10 times for the past 48 hours.  It happens folks, I am telling you it HAPPENS.

The wet laundry sitting for 8 hours or more - this is what we called distracted mode!  You see we put the laundry in the dryer our Snapchat goes off and our world STOPS we wonder off to our room and the dryer never gets started!  

These to clothes drying habits often results in what we call "Momma is gonna Snap mode" especially when it is her clothes sitting there wet for 48 hours plus!

We have not developed a remedy for these issues, nor am I accepting advice for solving the problem, as I know the problem will truly be solved when my kids are grown, my house is empty, and I will miss those soggy stinky clothes or that continuous sound of same load of laundry being dried over and over and over!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 
1 Corinthians 13:4-7    

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday Greetings from Our House to Yours

Holiday Greetings from Our House to Yours

My mailbox is filling up quickly with Holiday Cards, but just like years in the past I am a fail at sending my cards out!  I think if you dig through my Christmas boxes you will find many unopened
boxes of Holiday Cards that had good intentions of being mailed, but failed!

So like years past, here goes our holiday greeting card via our blog!

Life in our house has only gotten busier.  Trey and I keep praying for it to slow down, but God keeps opening doors and we can't help but walk through them!

Lesse is almost done with "middle school" as she is entering her final semester of 8th grade!  She definitely is our multi-talented child with so much ambition!  This past year she played volleyball, softball, basketball, and made all-district band!  We are super proud of her academic, sports, and musical accomplishments!  Outside of school she has started a tiny little ministry where she is a pen pal with  little girls - this has been super fun to watch her write back and forth and share secrets and wisdom with little girls that look up to her!  We know that even at her young age Lesse is a leader and God has many plans for her adventurous heart.

D, our little man is finishing his last semester of "elementary" and will enter middle school next year! Momma's baby turned the big 10 this past month, yes Momma cried!  D remains our child that stumps us with his quick tongue, unique statements, and never ending curiosity!  D opened the door to music by joining Honor Choir this year at his school - we love his passion for music!  This past January D made the decision that he wanted to work for God, so he was baptized into the family of God. D has such a servants heart and this year has made huge commitments and sacrifices to be able to give back to his friends and neighbors - including buying his whole class ice cream, just because he cares about them!  It is so fun watching D and his giving heart - we know God will use his passion and empathy to do good things!

Trey's life has only gotten crazier as Lesse and D add in extra activities, his truck has become the taxi cab of neighborhood. This year Trey reconnected with an old youth group friend and we as a family had the opportunity to serve in inner city St Louis with Love the Lou - it was great to not only see old friends, but meet new friends and open doors to what we hope to be life long friendships. We are thankful Trey's job has been busy over the past year, God has blessed us well.

As for me, well I am still in college.  I keep thinking it is just a few more classes and it is, but seems to take forever! Last year (2016) I transferred departments and am able to remain working in the field of my degree, but with a less crazy schedule!  So very thankful for a steady normal schedule and good benefits in my employment.  I have also been blessed with being able to serve my community as our local Chamber of Commerce President - such a treat to be able to return my love to the community that loved me and helped mold me as a child.

As for 2018, we do not know where 2018 shall lead us!  Trey is considering a run for leadership in our community - we know if it is God's will he will open that door.

If I remain on schedule with my college classes (my advisor gets annoyed as I change it a lot) I should graduate December 2018 - I have had to reduce my class load to be able to parent, work, and serve my community!

We assume our kids will grow another foot or so next year to pass us up and be taller than us, but that  will also be left up to God!

We pray you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!


Trey, Becky, Lesse, & D

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri

(Disclosure: my visit to the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium was sponsored, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own or my families, I cannot be bought) 

The Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium the largest, most immersive wildlife attraction in the world is right here in Missouri.  The Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium is located inside the Springfield Bass Pro Shop and is perfect for visitors of all ages.  

"Aww Mom, did you really say that we had to go to the Bass Pro Shop on our girls weekend?"  My sweet, but sassy little gal was not sure about crashing the "hunting store" on her girls weekend.  Until we walked inside the massive Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri - the next comment I got was "Mom this place is not like I thought it would be" - maybe Mom was right again.

We started our adventure at the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium inside the Wildlife Galleries.  This was more than just a few painting on the wall, it was a history lesson mixed with lavish displays that look so life like that you thought you were really in the animals natural habitat and the animals were real.    

A walk on the artic side to meet few polar friends? 

Mixed with this life like exhibit of artic animals was a touch of history and lesson of how the Inuit people native to the Arctic regions of North America lived.  

While this piece of clothing was sure to be warm, I am not sure it was my style.  

Throughout the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium's wildlife gallery we learned about animals and lands from all over the world, the history of hunting, the importance of conservation, and individuals that played an important roll in the sport of hunting and conservation.

After our hour tour of the wildlife gallery we entered the aquarium portion of the tour  - our first steps into the aquarium we weren't sure if we had left Springfield, Missouri and entered the runways of LasVegas - we may have had to stand and pose on the steps a few times.  

Like the art gallery section of the tour, the aquarium is absolutely gorgeous, yet acceptable for all ages.  

The aquarium leaves nothing to imagine, except maybe how did they build an aquarium this big? 

AND make it see through?  

 Like the wildlife galleries, each area of the aquarium has a theme, you visit fresh water areas, swamps, and sea life.  The entire area, minus the area dedicated to the fishing awards, which my girls zoomed through quickly, is very interactive - it will mesmerize kids of all ages!  

The Jellyfish might have been our favorite.   

In fact, I am not even sure we knew these color of Jellyfish even existed! 

The swamp area was also a favorite, but the girls were not huge fans of the swinging bridge over the alligator pit - I did not know they could move as fast as they did across the bridge!

Even though the alligators looked semi-friendly.  

The touch-table gives visitors a chance to touch sea life they may never have been able to get close to before. 

At the very end of our tour we got a nice surprise and met this guy! 
He was much cuter through the glass than he would have been meeting face to face in the wild!  

A few things you should know before going to the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium.  
  • The Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium does have an entrance fee, you can choose to visit either the museum, the aquarium, or buy a combo ticket and visit both at once. 
  • You need to wear walking shoes, while it is indoor the facility is also 350,000 square feet with 1.4 miles of trails - that is just a tad bit of walking!
  • There is a snack area, gift shop, and plenty of restrooms throughout the facility.  
  • The Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium is wheelchair and stroller friendly - where needing to move from floor to floor, elevators are available. 
  • Plan to spend several hours, you could zip through in 2 hours, but you would miss so much!  To truly enjoy the Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium plan to spend 4 hours or more especially if visiting with kids. 

More Pictures of The Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium.